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SINGAPORE: Another airport frontline worker was among three new COVID-19 cases that have tested preliminarily positive for the Omicron variant, said the Ministry of Health (MOH) on Friday (Dec 10). 

The local infection, identified as Case 276839, is a 38-year-old man who works as a passenger service staff member at the departure gates at Changi Airport Terminal 3. 

MOH said the man did not interact with three previously reported cases of Omicron infections: Two of them have been confirmed to have the Omicron variant while a confirmatory test for the third individual is pending. 

There were also no known links with an earlier reported case, who was also a Changi Airport passenger service staff member

The 38-year-old was tested for COVID-19 on Dec 9 as part of the weekly rostered routine testing for border frontline workers. His polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test result came back preliminarily positive for the Omicron variant. 

The man was asymptomatic and had self-isolated at home when he was notified of his test result, said the Health Ministry in a press release late on Friday night. 

TWO IMPORTED CASES ARRIVED IN SINGAPORE VIA UK VTL

The other two cases were imported infections who travelled to Singapore from the United Kingdom via the vaccinated travel lane (VTL). 

Case 276794 is a 30-year-old woman who returned on Dec 8. Her pre-departure test in the UK on Dec 7 was negative for COVID-19 infection. 

Her on-arrival PCR test on Dec 9 was positive, and MOH said she was suspected of being infected with the Omicron variant on Dec 10 due to the detection of the “S-gene Target Failure”. 

Before she was taken to the National Centre for Infectious Diseases (NCID), she had self-isolated at her own residence. 

The other case is a 26-year-old man who also travelled to Singapore on Dec 8. MOH said the man, identified as Case 276796, did not interact with the 30-year-old woman during the flight. 

His pre-departure test in the UK on Dec 6 was negative for COVID-19 infection but his on-arrival PCR test on Dec 9 was positive. The man was suspected to have been infected with the Omicron variant on Dec 10. 

The man had self-isolated at a self-sourced accommodation before he was taken to NCID. 

All three cases were fully vaccinated and asymptomatic, said MOH, adding that they were recovering in isolation wards at NCID. 

“MOH is ringfencing the cases through contact tracing,” added the ministry. 

Whole genome sequencing for all three cases is being conducted by the National Public Health Laboratory to confirm the variant. 

All close contacts of the cases will be placed on 10-day quarantine at designated facilities and undergo PCR tests at the start and end of their quarantine period, said MOH. 

All frontline airport workers are currently undergoing weekly routine testing, and all airport workers on routine testing will be required to do daily antigen rapid tests for the next seven days. 

“Given its high transmissibility and spread to many parts of the world, we should expect to find more Omicron cases at our borders and also within our community,” said MOH. 

Singapore reported 454 new COVID-19 cases on Friday.